What better way to wrap up a fun season at the water park than to take a dip in the pool with a favorite pooch while helping a good cause?

“Hot Dippity Dog” is one of the must-attend events at the Farmington Water Park each year. The event is held the day after Labor Day – the last day for two-legged guest to take a float in the lazy river or enjoy a swim in the pool before both “go to the dogs.”

The temperature outside may not have been swimming weather – sunshine with a cool breeze – but that didn’t stop animal owners from attending the fundraiser for the Farmington Pet Adoption Center.

Lined up outside before the gates opened were Ann Miller with Daisy, a 10-year-old Bichon Frise. Not far from Daisy was Toby Jack, 3 1/2, and weighing in at more than 200 pounds.

The St. Bernard was there with Bob and Byranna Alexander of DeSoto.

This was the second year for the couple and their dog to attend “Hot Dippity Dog.”

“Toby likes the water,” Bryanna said, as he pulled his owners towards the gates after opening.

Ten-week-old Cooper was not so sure. The Morkie pup was cuddled in the arms of Faith Nelson – not really wanting any part of the water on Tuesday.

Rachel Jue and her son, Ronin, were attending for the first time with Groot. Ronin was happy to pull Groot through the pool at first – with Groot not so sure about what was going on.

By the end of the evening, Ronin would just float in the water as Groot paddled him all around the pool area.

Shanda Arnold and Mike Simmons brought Bobby, 17, to enjoy the water. Arnold said she believed Bobby might be the oldest pup in attendance that evening.

“We got him from the shelter,” she said. “This year, he’s a little blinder, so he’s not swimming as much as he used to.”

Shelby Jones from Park Hills brought Harley, who will be 7 next month. She said this was the second year to attend and Harley enjoys playing in the water at all times.

Sierra Sitzes of Farmington had her dog, Scott, adopted from the center as well.

Sitzes said her pup loves to jump in rivers and creeks – but, the water park was another story.

“We got out there and the (water) bucket fell,” she said. “I think it freaked him out a little bit. He’s ready to just go sit in the grass now.”

But Blaze, the 9-year-old Yorkie Poo belonging to Shannon and Angie Inman of Desloge, was having a great time in the water. They attend the event every year, Shannon said.

“He knew where we were coming when we left the house,” he said, with Angie adding the couple has to hide Blaze’s lifejacket.

“I grabbed the towel…he knew to get to the truck, he was looking around and saw the lifejacket and was all excited,” Angie said.

The Lawson family – Zach, Sarah and 2-year-old Tessa – brought their dog, Shelby. Zach said Shelby came to their home by way of FPAC.

“Her name is Shelby, but it used to be June,” he said.

She’s been in their family for about a month and looked to be enjoying the water on Tuesday.

Sarah said Tessa is known to say, “no-no, Shelby” on more than one occasion.

“(Shelby) may think that’s her name,” Sarah said with a laugh.

Wendy King is the shelter manager and board president for FPAC. She expressed her appreciation to the Farmington Water Park and its staff for putting on the event every year.

“The turnout has been fantastic every year,” she said. “One year, the weather was questionable but all of a sudden, right before we opened, it turned beautiful and hot and sunny and the event was perfect.”

Donations of $10 per dog were accepted for the shelter from those attending.

“One-hundred percent of the money raised is going to help the animals at the shelter, whether it be veterinarian costs or food costs or heating costs or air-conditioning costs…all of the above,” she said. “We’re a no-kill, non-profit, but we have a lot of overhead. Our staff that takes care of the animals are paid staff. All the others are volunteers.”

King said there is always a need for volunteers at the Second Chance Resale Shop located next door to the shelter at 2901 U.S. Highway 67 south of Farmington.

For more information, contact King at 573-756-8658.

Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-518-3628 or srobinson@farmingtonpressonline.com

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